Central Management Team

Elina Zempili

Elina Zempili is the Project Leader of the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan.  Elina has over 20 years of experience in managing complex EU-funded technical assistance projects and in managing multi-national teams of experts.  She has worked extensively in several communication campaigns for EU Structural Funds projects  where she managed large multi-dimensional teams comprised of experts in the fields of advertising, communications and public relations, and reported successfully to the Programmes’ Managing Authorities.  She has been active in the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan since 2016.  Elina, who is the Director of the  Policy Development & Evaluation Business Unit at Kantor Qwentes SA, holds an MA in European Politics from Vrije Universiteit Brussels. She speaks English and Greek fluently and has a basic understanding of French.  


Pascale Van Doren

Pascale Van Doren is the Event Organisation Expert of the Central team.  She is an Agronomy Engineer with over 25 years of professional experience in various EU funding instruments including EARDF, ERDF, ESF, EMFF.  She holds an advanced degree in business management. She has extensive experience in the fields of regional and rural development, maritime affairs, innovation and knowledge development, support for SMEs, social affairs, interregional/macro-regional cooperation and territorial governance. She has in-depth experience in the development and management of networks of actors at the European level, whether they are operational or institutional actors as evidenced by her structural or more specific collaborations with the ENRD, EBN, CPMR, Farnet networks, etc. This experience has given her a cross-cutting view of European and regional issues, as well as solid experience in networking and event management. Pascale has been the event and networking manager in the field of blue economy for the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic Action Plan since July 2014. In that context, she has coordinated three Annual Stakeholder Conferences attended by about 300 participants. Pascale speaks English, French and Dutch fluently.


Daniel Irwin-Brown

Daniel Irwin-Brown is the National Hub Coordinator.  Daniel has an undergraduate degree in Politics and Economics (University of Newcastle, UK) and a Master in European Integration (Autonomous University of Barcelona).  Since early 2017 he has worked on implementation of EU funded projects in a number of areas including governance, public policy, and trade. This has involved, inter alia, report writing, stakeholder interviews, data collection, and work package co-ordination. Specifically, with regards to Maritime Policy he is currently involved in the Facility for Blue Growth in the Black Sea, here he has worked on organization of the project steering group meeting as well as on development of country fiches and collection of data on EU projects relevant to the Facility.  Prior to this he worked for over four years in various positions in the UK and Spain focused on market research and analysis, involving: quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis; report writing; focus group and event organization; stakeholder interviews.  He is a native English speaker and holds a C1 level in Spanish.


Elizabeth O’Reilly

Emmanuelle Hière 

Emmanuelle Hière is the Communications expert of the Asssistance Mechanism.  Emmanuelle has a MSc. in Economic Sciences and International Management and Communication, and since 2002 has worked on various aspects of communications and event management highly relevant to the Atlantic Assistance Mechanism and this position.  In 2002 and 2003, she participated in the elaboration of communication and marketing strategies and tools for several private companies, including development of marketing tools, as well as in the organisation of high-profile events.  Over the past 14 years, she has worked in all aspects of communication strategies' design and implementation; i.e. elaborating and editing of newsletters and web documents; management of project websites and social media management (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook); writing press releases; design and editing of communication materials (folders, banners, invitation letters, Certificates, etc.); etc. She is a native French speaker, and also speaks fluent Spanish and English.


Elizabeth O’Reilly

Martin Rune Jensen

Martin Rune Jensen is the Monitoring & Evaluation expert of the team.  Martin has more than 20 years of experience providing research, monitoring, evaluation, and consultancy services to the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Mr Jensen has specialised in providing evaluations and impact assessments of EU policies and programmes, analysing EU governance models, activity-based management and budgeting, and the setting up of executive agencies. His work experience has focused on a number of thematic areas comprising maritime issues, research, transport, energy, and public health, all at the EU level.  His experience includes evaluations of large EU PPP research and ICT projects namely Galileo and SESAR Joint Undertaking, and as deputy team leader on the DG MARE impact assessment of “Common Information Sharing Environment (CISE)” (CISE is the integration of existing surveillance systems and networks and gives all concerned authorities access to the information they need for their missions at sea). He is fully acquainted with the development in EU policies as well as the functioning of EU institutions.  Martin holds a BA in Agriculture Economics and a MA in Economics from the University of Copenhagen.  Martin is fluent in Danish, English and French and has a working knowledge of German and Swedish.


Elizabeth O’Reilly Ana Vilar

Ana Vilar is the Quality Director of the team. She holds a Master in a Law (University of Oviedo – Spain) and a Master of European and International law (University of Louvain).  Ana has over 18 years of working experience in directing and managing large scale and multi-country projects in the area of governance and public policies. She is well acquainted with the development of EU polices and EU institutions.  She has an extensive experience as project manager and quality manager for specific assignments. She has specific knowledge and interest in cross-cutting issues such as Energy Union, climate change policies and sustainable tourism development. She managed and provided quality review assistance for the DEVCO-DG MARE assignment “Feasibility study on Integrated Maritime Policy in the Black Sea” and the “Technical Assistance  to the preparation of ENI Cross-Border Cooperation programmes”. Ana speaks Spanish, English and French. 


Elizabeth O’Reilly

Dr. Benjamin Drakeford

Dr. Benjamin Drakeford is the AAM Marine Expert.  He holds a PhD and an MSc in Marine Resource Economics.  He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. His experience lies in the broad field of marine resource economics and management, including fishing, aquaculture, and offshore energy. He has recently undertaken research projects throughout the EU, Asia and the USA receiving funding from the EU Commission, UK Research Councils, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) among others. He is also a member of the newly formed Blue Governance Research Group at the University of Portsmouth. The main focus of this Research Group is to develop projects that utilise global expertise in blue economy development.